Radio Ink Magazine, a radio industry trade publication, reached out to Melissa Herrboldt, owner of KXLG radio, to find out how she went from receiving and helping with promotions to becoming the station’s local owner. KXLG radio.
A core value of Melissa’s mission is to keep KXLG truly local and to honor former owner Bob Faehn’s vision of community involvement and a family atmosphere culture.
Below is Radio Ink Magazine’s “Keeping the Live and Local Legacy Alive” article.
In September 2019, KXLG-FM (Watertown, SD) owner Bob Faehn was diagnosed with cancer. Last month he passed away. Faehn started the station in 2009 and was a big believer in live and local. One of its first recruits, who like many radio newbies did it all in the building, was Melissa Herrboldt, who as of last month has owned the station.
We reached out to Melissa to ask how she went from working reception and helping with promotions to owning the radio station. As you will discover, Bob Faehn had a lot to do with his rise to ownership
Radio Ink: Tell us about the station.
Melissa Herrboldt: KXLG was built on the concept of “Live and Local”. Bob handpicked his team and created a culture that was a family atmosphere where being a real team really meant something. Everyone participated. We were a “seasoned” staff except me. Our advertisers had over 100 years of experience when we started and the sales experience matched that. He had a team that knew how to get the job done. Bob’s philosophy was to hire good people and get out of their way. Our mission statement says it best. KXLG’s mission is to be an admired and involved part of our communities, while providing important information and entertainment in an upbeat, honest, and friendly manner that maximizes the success of our advertisers. Core values: honesty, integrity, expertise and attitude.
Radio Ink: What do you think the station means to the community?
Melissa Herrboldt: Bob started KXLG knowing the importance of a local community. KXLG was created to serve the communities it would reach. Bob Faehn was a household name in our communities and in the state. So people knew if Bob was part of that, it would be a hit. I remember early in our adventures at KXLG, we had a client who had a little girl who needed hearing aids and for some reason the family couldn’t afford it. Before you know it, KXLG listeners raised $6,000 in just a few hours for the little girl to get hearing aids. We asked and our listeners responded.
Radio Ink: How important is live and local?
Melissa Herrboldt: As important as oxygen is to us. When you say “live”, you get live with KXLG. We have live advertisers on air from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. When the storms come, we cover them. Local events we are here. We care about our listeners, our communities and our customers. Local businesses are said to be the backbone of the community. It’s true! KXLG is a local business and we understand the importance of ‘local’. We have created a program to promote local businesses and the importance of supporting them! It’s what makes KXLG who we are. KXLG is truly “live and local”!
Radio Ink: What happened to Mr. Faehn?
Melissa Herrboldt: Bob was diagnosed with cancer in September 2019. Bob was more than a boss, he was my mentor and an incredibly smart and patient man who really allowed me to grow in the business. He sent me on a trip to learn more about the world of radio. He invested in me. I remember when he called me from the ER before he was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic in September and asked me to do him a favor. He didn’t know what was going to happen to him. I immediately understood how much Bob meant to me. And if something happened to him, I wanted him to know that I cared about him. So I said it, I told Bob that I wanted him to know how much I appreciated him and that I loved him. He replied “I love you too Melissa”. It was from that moment that our relationship deepened and I knew that Bob was no longer just my boss. He was a friend and a father figure. I never imagined meeting someone like Bob who would have such an impact on my life and that of my family. We wouldn’t have had this opportunity to buy this radio station if I hadn’t met Bob Faehn.
Radio Ink: Did you know he wanted you to take over the station when he came by?
Melissa Herrboldt: Yes! Bob told me about buying the station once a year starting in 2017. He never pushed the issue. He always said he wanted it to go to someone who would take care of it. Someone who wouldn’t spoil it. I was too loose to do it because we are a very profitable station and I always thought of us only to buy it and I knew that was not an option. Although when he decided to retire on February 2, I knew that if my husband and I didn’t buy it, someone else would. Our staff and what Bob created did not deserve to be changed. Before he retired, I sat down with him and said ok, how are we going to buy this station. I’m ready to talk! Then Bob, Susie, Jeremy and I had dinner together to discuss how we could purchase KXLG. Jeremy and I visited and before I knew it we agreed it was a great opportunity for us. Let’s do this! We started looking for investors. Our first investor we asked was Susie. It suited perfectly. I’ve also always prayed that if that were to be the case, everything worked out and our investors came to us, we wouldn’t have to go to them. And that’s exactly how it happened. Well, they came together because they knew how much KXLG meant to Bob. They were also aware of his condition. In no time, we had the 3 investors we needed to make our dream of buying KXLG come true. Bob’s legacy would live on!
Radio Ink: What’s it like to be an owner?
Melissa Herrboldt: I don’t know if it’s leaked yet. The crazy thing is, I’ve always taken ownership of my work, and in some ways always felt like I owned a small part of KXLG. I am super excited and incredibly humbled to continue the legacy created by Bob Faehn. To provide the community, listeners and our customers with the best local radio as we have been for the past 12 years. Financially, we made it work with investors. We couldn’t be luckier to have the investors we have. They all know Bob and know what his vision was and how he ran his business. They also know the importance of local radio!
Source link to original article: